The Political Association was Tasmania's first overtly political grouping. Formed in 1835, its full name was the Grand Political Association and its members fought for the 'rights and liberties of Englishmen', particularly trial by civil jury. A 25-member 'standing council of influential inhabitants' was formed, and packed public meetings, reported in the anti-government True Colonist, were held to discuss 'measures deemed necessary to amend the social and political condition'. Another of the Association's aims was reform of the Legislative Council because 'not a single individual was elected by the people'. The Association, while significant, was short-lived because Lt-Governor Arthur refused to acknowledge its existence. Before the Association lapsed, its debates were dubbed 'the House of Assembly'. It began Tasmania's evolution towards an elected parliament.
Further reading: H Melville, History of Van Diemen's Land, Sydney, 1965.